- Govt seeks Rs 8.24L cr from Centre’s taxes
- The state government on Wednesday sought Rs 8.24 lakh crore from the 15th Finance Commission towards the state’s share in central taxes and duties for the period of 2020-25. The demand also includes a special package of Rs 1500 crore (over the regular grants on disaster response) towards strengthening disaster preparedness and Rs 200 crore for development of Puri Jagannath Temple.
- The state also sought a funding pattern of 90:10 in centrally sponsored schemes on a par with northeastern and Himalayan states.
- Among others, making cess and surcharges as part of the divisible pool between Centre and states, using 1971 population data as devolution criteria of central taxes, extension of GST compensation for another 10 years (beyond the five-year period ending 2022) and spending clean energy cess in coal mining areas.
- The 14th Finance Commission had recommended Rs 1.84 lakh crore towards the state’s share in central taxes and duties during the period of 2015-20 against Odisha’s demand of Rs 4.59 lakh crore.
- Odisha apprehends that shifting from the 1971 data may result in lesser resources for the state because it successfully controlled its population, an apprehension also raised by states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
· USA Cricket becomes ICC’s 105th member
- The International Cricket Council (ICC) approved USA Cricketas its 105th member, which is expected to open the door for T20 Internationals to be played in Florida, which has a large base of West Indies supporters.
- The USA Cricket Association had previously been an associate member of the ICC, but was suspended over governance issues for a third time in 2015 before being expelled in June 2017.
· Democracy Index 2019
- The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released the Democracy Index which ranks 167 countries by 60 indicators across five broad categories.
- The categories considered for the index are electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties.
- Only 4.5% of the world’s people live in a full democracy.
- The overall global score remained stable in 2018 for the first time in three years.
- 42 countries experienced a decline in their index score compared with 89 in 2017 and 48 countries have improved their score.
- Australia and New Zealand are the only “full democracies” in the entire Asia-Pacific region
- India was at the 41st place with a score of 7.23/10 and was placed in the flawed democracies category.
- India to become world’s third largest consumer market by 2030: WEF
- A report by World Economic Forum said that India is set to become the world’s third largest consumer market behind only USA and China by 2030.
- The report said consumer spending in India is expected to grow from 1.5 trillion US dollar at present to six trillion US dollar by 2030. The report said that with the annual GDP growth rate of 7.5 percent, India is currently the world’s sixth largest economy.
- The report titled ‘Future of Consumption in Fast-Growth Consumer Market – India’ also noted that growth of the middle class will lift nearly 25 million households out of poverty.
· PM launches Gangajal Project
- The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Gangajal Project. The project aims to improve water supply to the city of Agra.
- The Gangajal project aims to provide a better supply of drinking water which will benefit the residents as well as tourists.
- The Gangajal project aims to bring 140 cusecs of Ganga water to Agra to help in meeting the drinking water demands in the city.
- The project was launched in 2005 in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency and was scheduled to be completed by March 2012.
- India gears up for Rs 150 crore microbe project to uncover links to diseases
- India is getting ready for a project that is as small as it gets — and as big. The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) will map trillions upon trillions of microbes — bacteria, fungi, viruses, archaea — that are found in Indians. On their skin.
- In a one-of-a-kind project in the country, researchers will take skin and oral swabs and collect blood and faecal samples from 20,600 individuals who belong to 103 endogamous communities (which marry within the group).
- The Union government-funded, Rs 150 crore project could get underway in the next few months.
- The ambitious project aims, at the end of it, to generate the baseline microbiome data of Indians. It will also define the core microbiome of tribal populations that are unaffected by modern lifestyle. It will even help us understand the links between microbial composition and disease risks and also create a repository of microbial samples from healthy individuals to help develop probiotic-like solutions.
· ISRO plans to set up Space Technology Parks and Museums
- The ISRO plans to set up Space Galleries in various locations in the country.
- The Space Galleries are expected to disseminate the knowledge about space science and technology amongst the citizens of the country. The Gallery will consist of interactive methods and models describing the principles of Space science and technology.
- In addition to the Space Galleries, ISRO is planning to establish Knowledge centers, mobile exhibitions, competitions amongst students and various talks, lectures on Space Science, technology related aspects.
· Interim Budget session likely from January 31 to February 13
- It is expected to be thelast session of the current Lok Sabha as general elections are due in April-May 2019.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitleywill present the interim budget for 2019-20 fiscal on February 1, as decided in the meeting by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
- This will be the sixth consecutive budget to be presented by Jaitley.